Happy new year, everyone, from The Panem Free Press! As a present, we bring you coverage from the new Capitol by District 7 where the President-elect, Richard “Rick” Canth, and the Vice President-elect, Dale Wilson, are to be inaugurated today. The pair of politicians will form the first bipartisan executive branch, as President-elect Canth is from the Conservative Party and Vice President-elect Dale Wilson is from the Liberty Party.
It’s also inauguration day for the new Congress, our new governors and other districtwide officials, and for the district legislatures. The Liberty Party, who held a decisive majority in all of the aforementioned categories, continues to hold their majority over the nation. However, a commendation must be made to the Conservative Party on these election results. They managed on their first election to field electable candidates, winning in multiple offices. Here are the new officeholders from the Conservative Party:
- President Richard “Rick” Canth (D7) – first elected male president, and first opposition party president
- Governor Kaitlyn Jones (D11) – elected in surprise Conservative sweep
- Governor Xavier Hansen (D10) – elected on joint ticket with Liberty
- Lieutenant Governor Carl Parsons (D11) – elected in surprise Conservative sweep
- Lieutenant Governor Maci Erhlich (D10) – elected on joint ticket with Liberty
- Lieutenant Governor Belinda Copley (D6) – elected easily in a split Liberty/Civic district and is looking to turn the tide sooner rather than later
- Secretary-designate Kurtis Pierce (D2) – elected representative in District 2 on election night while also coming in second for Vice President. Ultimately decided to not accept his spot in Congress in favor of becoming Secretary of the Treasury.
Vice President-elect Dale Wilson (Liberty-D4) arrived in his official motorcade on the steps of the new Capitol. There was an atmosphere of tension among the rampant fervor, and it was clear that security had been ramped up due to threats on both Wilson’s life and that of the President-elect’s.
Due to a technicality in the Panem Constitution, the Vice President-elect always is sworn in prior to the presidential inauguration. This is due to the possible circumstance of the president’s death prior to the vice presidential inauguration, which would hence cause a constitutional crisis. Therefore, upon inauguration, the Vice President becomes Acting President for at least two hours until the presidential inauguration.
As such, Dale Wilson was sworn in as our nation’s fourth Vice President. Vice President Wilson gave his inaugural address:
“My dear citizens, it is a great day for Panem. Today we see the fruits of our democratic process- the inauguration of our new President and our new Vice President. There is no greater honor that I have experienced than being selected as your Vice President, and it is wonderful to be able to be here standing before you today…I believe that a new era in Panem history has emerged. For the first time, two parties will cooperate in the executive branch to the best of their ability, as this decision was made democratically by the voters of Panem…And though the results of the election have been disputed, it is time to set aside our wishes, regrets, and differences and unite as a country. There is no greater weakness than division, and as a country that has experienced division and hardship, it is incredibly important to remember that.” — Vice President Dale Wilson (Liberty-D4)
Following the speech of the new Vice President, the President-elect arrived in his presidential motorcade. He was accompanied by three people: the First Lady, Autumn Canth, President Katniss Everdeen (Liberty-D12), and now-former Vice President Celine Oswald (Liberty-D13), who was his main competitor in the election and will serve as Secretary of State. The arrival of the four was met with incredible excitement, especially as it was a sign of unity between the two parties after many saw the election as “ripped out of the Vice President’s hands.” In fact, Oswald and Canth took each other’s hand and raised it into the air, much like Everdeen and D13 President Alma Coin did during the Panem Revolution.
The First Lady and Oswald took their seats on the front row as the President and the President-elect took to the stage, followed by the Chief Justice, Sean Wheeler. Wheeler administered the oath of office to the new President of Panem, met by cheers from the audience. Former President Everdeen shook President Canth’s hand before she was allowed to give her farewell address to the nation.
“Citizens, I am afraid that my time as President has come to an end. Who would have possibly have known that a simple girl from a mining district under an authoritarian regime could possibly become the leader of a revolution, let alone become the democratically-elected leader of that nation later on? Who could possibly have known that little Katniss Everdeen would become a leader on the world stage? Who would expect that I would be the one blessed to bring Panem to new heights and its citizens along with it? No one could have known. It has been truly an honor to serve as your president for the past eight years. We have fought wars, we have survived earthquakes. We have seen change in Europe and across the world, and today, we see change here on these very steps. In this case, change is certainly good. A nation must undergo change in order to keep itself open to new possibilities among these changing times. President Canth is certainly able to govern effectively in these new changing times, and I wish him the best of luck. But citizens, I must leave you with one warning- division is not the answer to your problems. As Vice President Wilson implored, we are at our weakest when we are divided. Therefore, no matter how you feel about our political situation, the answer is not in violence. It is not in conflict. It is certainly not in division. It is at our ballot box.” — Secretary-General Katniss Everdeen
The President was then allowed to give his inaugural address:
“People of Panem, it is a honor and a privilege to be at this podium today. There is no greater honor than serving in this position, and I thank each citizen for participating in this election and not returning to our old ways. As the Vice President and the Secretary-General have said before me, division is key to the destruction of a people. After all, it was a former President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, who said that “a house divided against itself cannot stand.” President Lincoln was incredibly correct. The United States fell due to such division, and should Panem turn to division and violence in an attempt to fix its problems, we will go the way of the United States. It is incredibly important at this juncture to unite as a people- we are Panem. At this point in time, we are at the tipping point of becoming the world’s greatest power. Under no circumstances shall we decrease as a people- we will only ascend into the sky, soaring among the clouds akin to the eagles.”